Category Archives: Home Improvements

Money Monday: When to DIY or hire a professional

What to spend money on (and what to DIY) as a new homeowner

diy home improvement“After the thrill of buying a new home wears off, new owners can get overwhelmed thinking about all the new costs incurred.

“You may be tempted to outsource it all. But maybe you’re not made of money? Besides, there are things that are worth doing yourself.

“For homeowners embarking on something new, it may not be clear what to take care of or how, and when to try to do it yourself and when to call the pros.” Here are some guidelines from CNN:

What to spend money on (and what to DIY) as a new homeowner.

Money Monday: How Homeowners are Paying for Popular Projects

As a homeowner, you typically want to make the place your own by doing home improvements. But what projects are usually done? And for #MoneyMonday, we’ll look at how it’s paid for.

Projects are typically done on a large scale. Here’s what gets tackled:

  • 43% focus on outdoor projecs
  • 31% are bathroom remodels
  • 28% on the unfortunate home repairs
  • 26% done on kitchen remodels
  • 16% narrow in on the garage
  • 5% are about the pool

And how are they paying for it? A surprising 62% of homeowners tap into their savings! (Way to go, financially savvy owners!) For those who don’t have the cash resources, they turn to the following to cover their house project:

  • 30% use a credit card
  • 13% take out home equity line of credit
  • 10% use a vague “other” method of payment
  • 9% liquidate or pull money from investments
  • 5% use a home improvement loan

As far as what you should focus on if you’re thinking of improving your house for the purpose of putting it on the market? Here’s projects in 2017 that had the best resale ROI.

And call me if you’re selling in the San Diego County! I’d love to have an opportunity to interview for the position of selling your home! John A Silva — 619-890-3648.

This infographic can be found here at CAR.org.

Staying Cool This Summer

It’s only May, and already we’re experiencing too-warm of spring weather in San Diego County! Here’s some tips on how to stay cool this potentially hot summer (and save money and energy!):

BLOCK THE SUN.

If you’re installing new windows, your best defense against sun is heat-reflecting or low-emissivity windows. These windows contain a thin film sealed inside double-pane glass to slow heat absorption in summer and heat loss in winter.

INSTALL FILM ON EXISTING WINDOWS.

One type of film — a window tint — absorbs solar radiation; the other — a reflective film — reflects the sun’s rays and is more transparent than the window tint. Install the type best suited to the climate in which you live. Films are left on windows year-round. Both should last at least 10 years.

INSULATE YOUR ATTIC.

If you live in a climate where summers are hot and winters are mild, also consider installing a radiant barrier — a layer of foil to deflect radiant heat. Radiant barriers, however, do not replace the need for other insulation.

Attach awnings. Buy ready-made fabric or aluminum awnings, or build wood awnings that complement your house. Install awnings on east-, south-, and west-facing windows.

MOUNT OUTSIDE SUNSCREENS.

Block the sun by covering windows that receive direct sunlight with screenings of bamboo, wood, fiberglass, or polypropylene.

HANG LIGHT-COLOR INTERIOR SHADES.

Reflect the sun with shades made with a shiny outer surface. Some fabric shades are backed by light-reflective materials.

INSTALL A WHOLE-HOUSE FAN.

If the humidity in your area isn’t too uncomfortable, mount a whole-house fan in the ceiling just below the attic. These fans draw in cool air through open windows at night and push out hot air through attic vents.

CROSS-VENTILATE.

Exhaust air any time the temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. Make sure air can come in one open window and leave freely through another.

Stay cool!

Projects with the Best Returns in 2017

Resale ROI

House projects have varying degrees of return; here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI, and the top five with the least ROI:

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

How to Decide on Paint Colors

What’s in a color?

Paint isn’t just paint; it affects the mood and feeling of the home and room you’re painting. Deciding on the proper color is important, whether staging your home to sell or just giving it a refresher.

what's in a color car.org

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Front Lawns: More Than Just Curb Appeal

Beautiful landscaping for your home is for more than just making a good impression.

Besides having that curb appeal punch, having a front yard is good for us! Having a lawn and/or yard reduces energy costs (as long as you have the right trees and foliage planted), cools down the outside areas, reduces stress, provides oxygen, protects trees, and reduces water runoff. All good things, while also making your home beautiful!

BeyondCurbAppeal

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

What’s in a Name? Energy Efficiency in Real Estate

Energy-efficient real estate and housing is a top priority for consumers; buyers and builders just call it different things.

An energy-efficient home when buying or remodeling is a top priority for 50% of interviewed consumers, and thus home builders often cater to and strive to build those types of houses. But the consumer and the builder often use different terms to describe sustainable, green and environmentally friendly real estate.

environmentally friendly real estate

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Rent instead of buying these things

Real estate and cars aren’t the only things you can either rent or buy; there are plenty of other rent-able things that you might not have thought about:

  • Tools – Perfect for when you have a DIY home improvement project, but probably won’t need that specific tool for anything else. Rent a chop saw for the crown molding in the bedroom, a chainsaw for the dead tree in the backyard, or a seeder to reseed your front lawn. Rent from local stores around you or Home Depot or Lowe’s, or see if a neighbor or friend has the necessary tool that you might be able to borrow. diy home improvement
  • Chickens and coops – Self-sufficiency can be a fun project or a lifetime endeavor; either way, with multiple companies with coops and chickens for rent, you can try out “home grown” eggs! Check out sites like rent-a-chicken.netrentthechicken.com, or rentacoop.com.
  • Art – Does looking at the same painting on your living room wall get boring after awhile? TurningArt.com allows you to continually rotate artwork for a monthly fee.
  • Clothes – Most cater to women, but there are several different websites now that do clothing rentals. Check out sites like renttherunaway.com, letote.com, or swapdom.com.
  • MSN.com’s article has several other practical things that you can rent: “10 Oddly Practical Things You Can Rent.”